Man Sues Former Police Chief Over Alleged Choking Incident
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 7, 2004
CUMBERLAND, INDIANA--In a federal lawsuit filed this week, a 21-year-old man accused the former Cumberland Police Chief of violating his civil rights after an arrest.
Jeremy Hutchinson, who is described in court papers as "mildly mentally handicapped", claimed that Chief Ron Cole violated his Constitutional right "to be free from excessive force" on November 8, 2002.
Hutchinson was arrested on a preliminary charge of battery for fighting at a friend's house. In his suit, Hutchinson alleged that Chief Cole grabbed him by the neck, pulled him out of a chair, and pushed him up against a wall by the neck so high that his feet weren't touching the ground.
"He came toward me grabbed my neck. Just threw me up against the wall," said Hutchinson, "It was bad. He just got mad. He was just in a bad mood. He just went off."
The battery charge against Hutchinson was later dropped.
Four months after the incident, a group of officers filed complaints against Cole. One reason given was his short temper. The town council demoted Cole to lieutenant following an investigation.
Hutchinson is suing Cole and the town of Cumberland. The suit did not specify what damages he is seeking.
His lawyer expects Cumberland officers to come forward and testify against Cole.